Snowmelt Update - May 14

The word “uncertainty” was used multiple times in the BC River Forecast Centre’s latest assessment of snowpack and water flows.  Head of the Centre, Dave Campbell says 3 straight weeks of above normal temperatures has caused a significant reduction in snowpack.  “At this point there’s high concerns over the potential for flooding, particularly through the Okanagan, Boundary, Shuswap areas where we’ve already experienced significant challenges.”

The snowpack in low levels is essentially melted across BC, half to two-thirds of the mid-level is gone, and 10 to 30 percent of the high elevation snow has melted. “Have we dodged the bullet by exhausting the snow that’s there?” asks Campbell.  The answer is uncertainty.  “In some of those systems, particularly the lower elevation ones, we have.  In some of them like the Salmon River, like Mission Creek, the risk is there that if there is enough snow (melting) we will re-emerge into flooding conditions.

The Province says the next 7-10 days could be important in determining if current flood conditions will worsen, or new ones will begin.

Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) is now available for eligible British Columbians who have been affected by the flooding that began on May 7, 2018.

This DFA is available in the geographic areas within the Regional Districts of Kootenay Boundary, Okanagan Similkameen, Central Okanagan, Columbia Shuswap and North Okanagan (including electoral areas, municipalities and First Nations communities).

DFA is available to eligible homeowners, residential tenants, small business owners, farmers, charitable organizations and local government bodies that were unable to obtain insurance to cover disaster-related losses.

"The flood damage I saw in Grand Forks is nothing short of devastating," said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. "I want Grand Forks, and other B.C. communities hard-hit by flooding, to know that the Province is here to help now and for the long term. We are making this funding available to help residents, local governments and First Nations rebuild, so they can begin the process of healing."

British Columbians can access the DFA applications and check all flood reports and conditions HERE